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Asian Studies Program
Asian Studies Program Virtual Friendship Quilt Project


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  Asian Studies Virtual Friendship Quilt Block
Block contributed by Elaine Seeman
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Silk brocade tunic from Vietnam

Story of the block

The silk fabric that I contributed was from a garment that my ex-husband purchased for his mother when he was in Vietnam in 1968. It was a knee -ength kimono type shirt like those worn by South Vietnamese women. Unfortunately, both his mother and I had “more American-sized” bodies than the Vietnamese women for which it was designed. As a result we never wore it as a shirt. Instead, the garment ended up being stored with my sewing materials from 1977 when I married Dave until the '90s. For years I had looked at the shirt and wanted to do something with the beautiful material, but always hesitated fearing that I’d ruin it. I did eventually make a small bag but never felt that it did the fabric justice! As I was getting ready for Christmas in 1997, I decided to make some Christmas stockings of various fabrics to hang over my fireplace. I used the silk for one of the stockings and it is just beautiful. I cuffed it at the top so that the reverse of the fabric shows as well. I have sometimes used some of the fabric to wrap special gifts. With what is left, I plan to make some lavender pillows with lavender flowers from my garden. Maybe I’ll get to that this summer when the lavender blooms once more.